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RIP Wouter Weylandt

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Giro d'Italia organizers said Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt died Monday after a high-speed downhill crash during the third stage of the race.

RCS Sport spokeswoman Maria Paola Vercesi told The Associated Press that the 26-year-old Weylandt died, but she did not provide any further details.

 

"Things like this shouldn't happen. Absolutely sick to the stomach," British cyclist Mark Cavendish said on Twitter. "My thoughts are with his family. RIP Wouter Weylandt."

 

Weylandt fell at high speed during a descent about 20 kilometers (12.4-miles) from the finish in northern Italy and lay motionless on the roadside before paramedics cut off his helmet and tried to resuscitate him.

 

The Leopard-Trek rider's body was then away by ambulance about an hour after the accident.

 

Monday's third stage was a 173-kilometer (107-mile) ride from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo.

 

Weylandt was the first rider killed in a crash in one of cycling's three main tours since Italian rider Fabio Casartelli died during the 1995 Tour de France.

 

At the Giro, Weylandt is the fourth cyclist to die during the race and the first in 25 years. Orfeo Ponsin died in 1952, Juan Manuel Santisteban in 1976 and Emilio Ravasio in 1986.

 

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RIP Wouter.

 

Andrei Kivilev died during Paris Nice in 2003 and his death caused the UCI to enforce the rule that every cyclist had to wear a helmet, not the the death of Casartelli in 1995's Tour de France.

 

All very sad.

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even more sad as racing is getting too hard, too dangerous, too risky, too demanding, all in the name of TV audiences.

 

His wife is pregnant, baby is due for september....

 

RIP Wouter.

 

BB

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